When I walk I hear it. A faint squeak squeak … reminding me I have unwelcome jewellery. A needle with attendant plastic tubing dangles from my portacath. This is the pathway to my veins, the pathway to my heart as it sits just near it, in the largest vessel returning blood from my body to
Week three of chemo is rough. I feel nauseous and hopeless. I cry when the catheter is placed as I feel so violated. Yet I must sit there. The nausea worsens, I hyperventilate and I vomit and then retch and retch.. “I just want to curl up on the floor and die.” I tell my partner.
You know things are bad when flowers arrive. After the diagnosis is confirmed bunches of flowers arrive at the door. More than when my babies were born. Busy couriers come and go to the door, parcels, cards, letters, hampers and gifts pile up. Chocolate arrives regularly, but I have no appetite. My weight dips back
And so begins two days of testing. They call it staging, in other words, how bad is it? Or, when will you die? First is a blood test. We go to a local clinic before dropping Mr 20 months to childcare. He rampages around the waiting room as my partner shepherds him towards toys. I
“I’m starting the chemotherapy now” says the nurse, interrupting me, my eyes closed, headphones deeply clamped to my ears, head freezing from a cold cap designed to reduce chemotherapy damage to my hair follicles. I barely acknowledge her, but the tears start to roll again. I don’t watch as the poisons start to drip. This
Weaning has been hard. Very hard. On both of us. Things are easing, but this has been the hardest part so far. Tonight for the first time my toddler reached for his father to cuddle him to sleep instead of me. This has been his pattern for the last three weeks. He clearly told me
My baby’s hands snake over my breasts like a lover’s, stroking and caressing. We dance together in this, our ritual, begun minutes after he was born. He can find his target by instinct, in the dark, half asleep. He has practice. He has motivation. His questing hand becomes more insistent, grasping my nipple. He tweaks